I consider us lucky. Hannah, my daughter, sleeps through the night. She has done so from a very early age. The only times that we are woken by her during the night are when there is a problem – she is sick, or she needs to be changed.
I consider us lucky, but at the same time I think back to the very early days and all the effort that went into helping Hannah develop a strong sleep routine. Yes, she did seem to be naturally inclined towards sleep, but she still cried when she was put down. She would cry when she had kicked her way out of her muslin swaddle, or even begin crying for no (apparent to us) reason.
That is the normal experience with newborns. For the lucky parents (like me), after a bit of hard work sleep routines form and all is good. We quickly forget those sleepless early nights and get on with it.
For the less fortunate, sleep becomes a nightly struggle. For one reason or another, the little one just doesn’t want to settle down. Some babies seem to need that personal contact, that sense of familiarity and of not being alone.
Ollie the Owl by the Gro Company
Recently the Gro Company sent me an Ollie the Owl, to help celebrate his Australian launch. The Gro Company is a brand that I have long admired. Their Grobags have been a fundamental part of Hannah’s safe sleeping routine for much of her life. They are a company that seems to be genuinely intent on helping young families to get a good night’s sleep.
Ollie the Owl is the latest addition to the Gro sleep arsenal. He is a new-born companion that can be attached by velcro to the side of a cot bassinet or pram during sleep times.
Ollie plays a range of four comforting sounds. He also lights up. The clever thing about Ollie the Owl is that these features automatically turn off after 20 minutes (30 for the light), but then are reactivated by the CrySensor if the baby becomes unsettled at a later point. Check out this instructional video by The Gro Company to see him in action…
Would I use an Ollie the Owl?
As I said before, Hannah is a good sleeper. But we still had to work hard in the early days to help her form routines. New-born babies don’t know a whole lot about those things, they really need to be taught. Emma and I (mainly Emma) read a heap of information about sleep before Hannah arrived (we love sleep that much), and so we had some good techniques up our sleeves. The main goal is to provide the baby with the comfort they seek, while at the same time help them disassociate human contact from sleep (easier said than done!).
I distinctly remember marching about like a soldier, with Hannah in one arm. The idea was to help her settle through movement, while detaching her from the need for ‘human contact’, by not holding her up in a cuddle. It worked quite well, but it took a while. At other times, I remember lying at the end of her cot and whispering “shh”, for what seemed like hours at a time.
In each of those situations, I would have tried an Ollie the Owl in a heartbeat. If that cute little fellow is able to soothe and help a baby self settle, then I’m all for it. Sleep is precious and anything that can help to provide mum, dad and baby with a good night’s sleep in the early days is well worth a closer look.
Super soft and cuddly
As for my Ollie the Owl, he will be going to a good home (with a new-born in it!). Hannah is too old and too settled in her sleep routines now to need him. That, of course, didn’t stop her from grabbing hold of Ollie and walking around the house with him for a few solid hours when I took him out to have a closer look. I don’t blame her, he is an adorably soft, cuddly little fellow. Hannah was pretty reluctant to give him back!
You can check out Ollie the Owl at the Gro Store. While you are there, have a look at their great sleep bags and swaddles. As I’ve said before, they have been a vital part of Hannah’s safe and comfortable sleep routine and I can’t recommend them highly enough.
Disclosure – The Gro Company provided Blog Of Dad with Ollie the Owl free of charge, for the purpose of celebrating his Australian Launch. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own views, based on my impressions of Ollie the Owl. For further information, please visit my disclosure page.